Sunday, July 31, 2016

Daily Salad #44

The vegan challenge ended Friday, I added really good cheese.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Friday, July 29, 2016

Daily Salad #42

Another day of travel meant another McDonald's salad. This time from a Canadian McDonald's. I remembered to say no cheese when I said no meat. It left a sad almost nothing salad to munch on.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Thankful Thursday #205

This week I've been thankful...
  • ...the ability to stay in contact with friends far away with texting and facebook
  • ...for Sister bonding
  • ...for my health
  • ...for new music
  • ...for adventures
  • ...for safe driving
  • ...for volunteers
  • ...people who pray for me

Daily Salad #41

It's good to be back in th salad making groove.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Sister + Friend Movie Review: Batman Vs Superman -Dawn of Justice

After seeing the Justice League trailer today; it looks so good, we thought it was high time we sat down and watched Batman Vs Superman. Also, I want to say it now, on record, I love Aquaman. He's one of my favourite characters. I've been reading his comic for a while and can't wait to see Jason Momoa as Arthur Curry.

If you haven't seen Batman Vs Superman, bewared, there are potential spoilers ahead.

Liam: Lex Luther, the actor is great
Sister: Any scene with Lex.
Me: I liked Senator Finch standing up to Lex, and the symbolize of her wearing white. I enjoyed anything with Lex or Wonder Woman. I like the foreshadowing moments between Bruce and Clark. Oh, Batman telling Martha Kent "I'm a friend of your son's" she figured because of the cape. The appearance of Wonder Woman in the monster battle and any of her scenes. I really enjoyed a few actor choices of Jeremy Irons as Alfred, Amy Adams at Lois Lane, Laurence Fishburne as Perry White, and the best casting was Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luther.

Less Than Good:
Liam: The pacing is terrible
Sister: Everything.
Me: Superman being dead...not cool. I hate this as an ending even if there is a hint he'll return, I don't like ending on such a sad note. Batman branding people also not cool. For the overall story, the batman dreams and the pacing seemed to be the most obvious problems. But I think there is a deeper issue. The movie reminded me of Spider-Man 3, having too many story arches and no clear story-telling. The movie manages to feels too long, too slow, and at the same time like the important connectors got rushed or missed. The next be flaw was the lacked humour. There was a line or two but not enough to balance the grit. It lacked the charm of many of the recent Marvel movies. Also I dislike watching good guys being manipulated into fighting each other.

Favourite Character:
Liam: Alfred
Sister: Lex and Superman
Me: Wonder Woman

Favourite Moment:
Liam: Batman's Superman-Nazi dream
Sister: Superman pushing Batman over (start of the fight) and Batman fighting with a sink
Me: I had two...1) the clip of Aquaman and 2) Lex introducing Bruce Wayne and Clark Kent to each other with a foreshadowing of "you shouldn't fight him"

Finial Rating:
Liam: 2.5 Superman-Nazis out of 5
Sister: 2 Bat brands out of 5
Me: 2.2 Kruptonite spears out of 5

Finial Thoughts:
I think this could have been more fun as "Dawn of Justice" and skipped the "vs" but for what it is there are some good. There was some good set up for the next DC movie. I hope Justice League will be better. The preview looks great.

Daily Salad #40

Right after the trip I got sick. Monday and Tuesday I wasn't up for making salads. Instead I enjoyed homemade soup. 

Today I made soup again. It was mixed with greens, carrots, blueberries, pears, mushrooms, and black beans. 

My Vegan Adventure #6: Vegan Vs Travel

A week ago I took five girls from my youth group to Kingdom Bound, a three day music festival at Darien Lake (an amusement park). Before leaving a friend who had been at Kingdom Bound before told me I probably wouldn't be able to stay vegan in the park. He was right, there was nothing I could really eat. Even a vegetarian would have struggled.

Driving there, our first stop was McDonald's, I ordered a salad without chicken. The cashier looked at me like I was crazy, she wasn't wrong. I got my sad looking salad to the table and realized I forgot to ask for no cheese. I ate the salad anyways. Things did not bode well for the challenge. I knew the trip would be the hardest days of the 40 day vegan challenge.

The saving grace was that this year our group was staying in a cabin with a kitchen.  I was able to cook my own meals. Most days I ate what I would have at home. We had a limited pantry so there was a few more slips. We had soft tacos one night. I knew the wraps probably had eggs...I didn't read the label. We made just add water to a no name pancake mix. Again, I didn't read the label. I expect there was egg and/or milk. Also, we only had butter for cooking, I avoided frying anything till the last night. Still I cooked with butter once.

From the park I had deep fried mushrooms and deep fried oreos. I didn't ask if there was egg in the batter, I would rather not know.  The last night I had a dream, one of those dreams that feels super real, in it we were in our cabin and I ate KFC. I woke feeling super guilty. And that was the trip. It went better than I had expected. I was able to stay completely vegetarian and only missed the vegan mark a few times. My only guilt was from something that didn't happen.

Only three days left of the challenge.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

July Birthday Bucket List Check In

It's been three months since my 35th birthday and only a few weeks since I posted this year's bucket-list challenge, perfect time for a review.

The challenges this year are divided into seven areas, spiritual, relationships, adventure, hobbies, culture, health, and second chances.

The Key
plain text = not started
green text = started
purple text = completed

1) Choose My One Word for 2017
This will have to wait till January

2) Read the New Testament
I have started my reading my copy of Biblica's New Testament "The Books of the Bible". Still in Luke but enjoying the journey.

3) Explore Contemplative Spirituality
I've attended a morning conference on contemplative spirituality, reading a book on contemplative youth ministry, and using a contemplative book on prayer as my devotional.

4) A Day of Silence
As part of the previous challenge I am going to go on a silent spiritual retreat for at least a day.

5) Be Thankful
I am enjoying the return of Thankful Thursdays and am thinking about adding a gratitude section to my bullet journal.

6) Time with My Dad
First adventure...we went to my first CFL game.

7) Friend Reunions
I've contacted a few friends I know are still in the area. Hoping to have coffee or something soon.

8) Attend a Family Reunion
Two Saturdays ago I went to a huge family reunion. It was great. Sadly I have no pictures. But my Aunt has a few photos of Sister, Cousins, and me...

9) Send Christmas Cards
It's a bit early

10) Go on a Date
This one might be the biggest challenge. I wonder if I can count platonic events.

11) Take a Risk

12) Go on a Road Trip
I've been on four road trips since my birthday, 1) Mark East 2) Move from NS to Ont 3) Family Picnic and 4) Kingdom Bound.

13) Go Camping

14) Be Upside Down
There were a few times I was upside down while at Kingdom Bound, at Darien Lake. This was one of them. There is a video of me on someone else's phone. I hope to share actual proof at next months check up.

15) Be Outside Canada
The trip to Kingdom Bound achieved a lot of my goals. Darien Lake is located in New York state...outside of Canada.

16) Try Something New

17) Join a Club/Group

18) Cosplay as a New/Different Character
I've been dreaming about ideas. It's a start.

19) Try Bullet Journalling
I've used a bullet journal style journal to track my food log and other vegan related lists.

20) Create a 40 Before 40 Challenge List

21) Visit a UNESCO World Heritage Site

22) See a Musical
Mum, Janna, and I saw the Stage Prophets production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicoloured Dream Coat

23) Participate in a Reading Challenge 

24) Go to a Ballet
I saw Sister dance in The Little Mermaid present by her ballet school

25) Attend a Convention

26) Be a Vegan for 40 Days
I am three days away from finishing my vegan challenge.

27) Keep a Food Journal
During the vegan challenge I've also been using my bullet journal to record a food log. I will count this as finished when the vegan challenge is over.

28) Complete a Pull Up
I have used the monkey bars to start practicing. Right now I can dangle/hold my weight for five-ish seconds. It's small but it is a start.

29) Dance

30) Run 5 km

31) Finally Paint This Canvas
The canvas has been located. There was concern that it had not been packed on moving day. I am thinking about painting a tree.

32) Finish Four Children Stories

33) Make a Video

34) Draw More
I've had two sketches finished so far.

35) Grow Something to Eat
I planned a garden and it's doing well. I expect that I should be harvesting some produce this week.

Six challenges completed. Thirteen challenges started or in progress. Leaving sixteen challenges left to begin. Not bad for three months into the year. With nine months left I think this is my best start yet. The next check in will be August 26th.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Daily Salad #38

I realized the bun probably wasn't vegan, I didn't even look. It was one of those consessions I need to make on this youth trip.

Daily Salad #37

Sister's phone won't let me up load today's salad. It was from McDs and was better than I expected. I had it without chicken but forgot to ask for no cheese.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Monday, July 18, 2016

Sunday, July 17, 2016

The Simple Woman Daybook 178

FOR TODAY: July 17, 2016
You can find the more daybooks at Simple Woman's Blog.

Outside my window... night.

I am thinking... about fermented food and baking sour dough bread because I was watching the Netflix series Cooked again.

I am thankful... extended family and opportunities to see them

I am wearing... white capris with a navy top.

I am creating... a road trip activity book
I am watching... Killjoys is back (on Space)! Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (now on Netflix)! Also Cooked and Chef's Table (both on Netflix).

I am geeking out... this S.H.I.E.L.D door Sister and I found and an innocent looking garden store.
I played... in Lake Huron

One of my favorite things... road trip mascots

Verse of the week... Psalm 34:4 (NIV)
I sought the Lord, and he answered me;
    he delivered me from all my fears.
Song of the Week:...

In the kitchen:... We made delicious BBQed veggie kabobs tonight

From the Garden:... There are now five tomatoes growing and everything else is looking good even the weeds. I need to weed the garden. 

A few plans for the rest of the week:... I'm working and adulating both Monday and Tuesday. Then Wednesday I leave for Kingdom Bound with five teens from my youth group! We'll be gone till Sunday night.

Happening On The Blog:... I'm not sure what the internet situation is going to be like. So there will be the regular content till Wednesday and then everything might be on hold till I get back. I'm going to probably retroactively post the five days of Daily Salad and Thankful Thursday. If I'm very productive I might even try to have a something scheduled to post while I'm away but I make no promises.

A few pictures to share:... from our family walk in a park

Daily Salad #34

I was happy to be home tonight so that I could add hot corn and beans; plus we did veggie kabobs on the barbie.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Daily Salad #33

 For th family picnic I had two salads! The first was the salad I made with a few extras (I added the pear and peppers). The second was a delicious bean salad my Aunt Penny brought and kept vegan for me! It was the sweetest simple act of inclusion.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Daily Salad #32

Not my regular style of salad but it was okay. I did miss the quantity and variety of veggies found in my own salads also the fruit and nuts. But once I got past that it was good.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Thankful Thursday #204

This week I've been thankful...
  • ...for vegetables
  • ...that it rained
  • ...for walks with my mom
  • ...for car rides with my dad
  • ...for hugs from my sister
  • ...for chats with my aunt
  • ...for the book on prayer I'm reading

Daily Salad #31

I really love my salad! Today's combo really worked. There was a base of mixed greens, lettuce, and alfalfa sprouts. Then cucumber, cherry tomatoes, yellow and orange peppers, blueberries, mandarin oranges, and topped with assorted nuts.  

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

No Weekly Art...for awhile

So two week's in to the Wednesday Weekly Art doesn't warrant a break but life has other plans. I'm going to be off from the art for the next few weeks. Today is because I forgot it was Wednesday but rest will be due to travel. It might just be easier to say Wednesday Weekly Art will return in September.

Daily Salad #30!

30 days of salad! Today's salad was good and not just because it's so pretty. I do think there is a correlation between pretty salads and delicious salads.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Daily Salad #29

Today's salad was larger because I was finding that my smaller container wasn't filling me up as much. This was good but it too longer to finish.

Monday, July 11, 2016

My Vegan Adventure #5: Why Vegan?

I'm half way through my vegan experience. And with the expecption of a few slips and cheats, that have already been mentioned, it is going very well. More than once I've been asked why I am doing this. I don't have an elevator pitch answer yet. There are a few factors that lead to this:

1) Since my friend Jessica went vegan a few years back I have been trying 30 Day vegetarian challenges as a birthday gifts. The idea of trying a vegan challenge has been percolating for a while. I've also used being a vegetarian as a birthday-bucket-list challenge. It seems wrong to just do what I knew I could do again.

2) Starting last year during my veggie month I have watched a lot of the Netflix documentaries on food and the merits of a plant based diet. The evidence indicated that plant based diets are good for the environment, for understanding other food cultures, and for my health to eat a mostly plant diet.

3) Back in January I was recommended a book by Dr. Fuhrman, I believe it was Eat to Live. He seemed a bit too extreme but matched a lot of the there advice I was reading. So I kept reading and thing.

4) I have known for awhile that I needed to make some lifestyle challenges, specifically to my diet. The movies and book got me thinking that a plant based diet might be the way to go. I wanted to eat less junk foods and more green food. I also new that I wouldn't gradually add more vegetables.  It might seem backwards but my thinking was through this 6 weeks I could change my taste buds and what my body craved. So far I think it's been working.

5) Also vegan powers:

And that is why I started this 6-week challenge three weeks ago, only three left to go. So far no vegan powers.

Daily Salad #28

Sunday, July 10, 2016

My Vegan Adventure #4: Cheating

I cheated twice in the past two weeks; both times were on my night to cook, once intentionally and once accidentally. On my night to cook I try to make flexible meals. These are dishes that can be halved easily and meat added to one so the rest of the family is happy. Sister keeps reminding me that I "eat the food my food eats." Overall it has been going well except these two nights...

The first cheating was burrito night. I thought ahead and checked the tortillas ingredient list. They weren't vegan. Thankfully the local natural foods store had locally made veggie tortillas. They were...interesting (Sister just says they are gross). I had two, which were just okay. Something was missing so for my third one I added a bit of cheese. It was a bit of an improvement but I think my taste buds are changing (like Jessica predicted). When I used the wraps the next day I didn't feel the need to add cheese.

The second cheating was me not thinking. This week I decided on ravioli for pasta night. The family's meat version was simple, just pick up a package of ravioli at the store. Vegan ravioli would take more effort. I found a filling recipe that I was confident I could tweak. It called for mushrooms, spinach, and soy ricotta; I left out the soy ricotta because I generally hate soy.

I knew I would have time to also make the dough so to save time I bought wonton wrappers. I thought I was so clever. Unlike the pervious tortilla adventure I didn't think to check the ingredient list. The product has eggs. But since I bought them for the meal I did use them. The meal was delicious and I didn't allow myself to feel too guilty. The finished dish is the first image. The "cheese" is the vegan cheese I wrote about in the first Vegan Adventure. I'm starting to acquire an almost like for it.

The best part of the liked it (she doesn't like pasta)!

The Simple Woman Daybook 177

FOR TODAY: July 10, 2016
You can find the more daybooks at Simple Woman's Blog.

Outside my window... the clouds are grey and stormy looking but if the recent pattern persists it's not going to rain. My poor garden would like it to rain.

I am thinking... about food culture and food traditions because I was watching the Netflix series Cooked this week.

I am thankful... farmers' markets

I am wearing... a cute t-shirt my sister picked out for me; it has a palm tree on it and shorts.

I am creating... a road trip activity book

I am reading
... Contemplative Youth Ministry: Practicing the Presence of Jesus, I am loving this book. The Readaholics and the Poirot Puzzle, only 40 pages to go and I only partially have a theory. The Rhythm of Prayer: A Forty Day ExperienceThe Books of the Bible, and The Amazing Spider-Man: Edge of Spider-Verse

I am watching... Killjoys is back (on Space)! Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (now on Netflix)! Also Cooked and Chef's Table (both on Netflix).

I am geeking out... Ninja Turtles

I played... Pandemic Legacy

One of my favorite things... lunch at farmer's markets

Verse of the week... Isaiah 43:19 (NIV)
See, I am doing a new thing!
    Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
    and streams in the wasteland.
Song of the Week:...

In the kitchen:... Thursday is pasta night; this week I tried my hand at ravioli. The pasta is wonton wrappers and the filling is made up of spinach and mushrooms.

From the Garden:... I thinned out the lettuce yesterday and tried the tiny greens in my salad:

A few plans for the rest of the week:... I'm adulting most of Monday, working Tuesday and Thursday this week. A few connecting with people coffee outings. And Friday we leave for a mini family vacation to attend a family reunion on Saturday.

Happening On The Blog:... Some more consistency has come to the blog. This is the new schedule/plan: Everyday there is a Daily Salad. Sundays are the Simple Woman Daybook. Wednesday's are Weekly Art. Thursdays are Thankful Thursday. In between that there have been some new "My Vegan Adventure" and Movie Reviews. I've decided not to do a Chubby Girl series but will just post the thoughts I have as I have them.

A picture to share:... from Canada Day:


Daily Salad #27

This tasted like summer!

You can't see it but under the fruit and berries there are some tiny baby lettuce sprouts from my garden. I was thinning out the lettuce yesterday and decided to try the little growths. It was an interesting addition.

Saturday, July 09, 2016

Daily Salad #26

It comes as a bit of a shock; I've discovered I really enjoy black beans. They are a nice addition cooked up with the mushrooms. In general I am surprised how much I love salad. Over the past weeks I've developed a desire for my daily salad and think I would be at a loss if I didn't have one. Even the days when I start the salad prep uninspired by the time I am sitting down to eat the salad I am excited and enjoying my food. It has brought a consistency to my life at the same time a lot of variety because every day content changes. The only downside is the time it takes to prepare and even that doesn't really bother me (just everyone else in the house).

Friday, July 08, 2016

Thursday, July 07, 2016

Thankful Thursday #203

This week I've been thankful...
  • ...for new beginnings and new jobs
  • ...for freedom found in overcoming a fear
  • ...for GPS
  • ...for an amazing administrator
  • ...for pool parties on hot days
  • ...that Sister passed her written driving test!
  • ...for board game nights and the people who play them

Sister + Friend Movie Review: TMNT -Out of the Shadows

Sunday night Sister, her friend Liam, and I went to see the newest Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie. I loved TMNT as a kid, it was my favourite show and I've seen all the movies in theater. So I was excited that we could find a theater still showing the movie. It was a bit farther then where we normally go but totally worth it.

WARNING: there are spoilers ahead...

Liam: It was funny.
Sister: I truly thought it was an excellent movie. mind you, I'm not into ninja turtles to the same extent as my sister, but I still enjoyed the movie for what it was.
Me: It was full of fun lines, Turtles, and nostalgia. There were a lot of little and big things brought in that were from the original cartoon from their love of pizza to the turtle mobile. I loved the throwbacks and Easter eggs like the ring tones being cartoon theme song and the closing credits.I like that Vanilla Ice was playing on a juke box. I liked that April said cowabunga.

I like that Casey still played hockey and the whole evolution of his character seemed more real than then my memories of the original movie.  I also like the introduction of Bepop and Rocksteady. It was so much better than The Secret of the Ooze. Speaking of past movies, I like that the Turtles internal conflict was more than just Raphael being a moody loner. I even like the weirdness of transdimensional invasion of Krang. It was plot-holey but so true to my memories of the Turtles.

Less Than Good
Liam: The fact that it was completely unrealistic, tanks don't sink then float. It was impossible to accept the liberalities they took with reality.
Sister: [Sister skipped because she doesn't like giving negatives]
Me: Being a fan of the movie doesn't mean it was perfect; there were plot holes and leaps in logic. More then once I had to remind Liam to suspend disbelief, but the writing made that different. The lines "that is not how that works" were muttered often. I found the police chief and all the "law" interactions poorly written. "That's not how the law works."

Another issue was there were so many characters that it seemed some characters didn't get the right balance of screen time.  For me there wasn't enough Splinter or Casey. I also wanted more sage wisdom from Splinter. Other trouble spots were 1) delivery of one of April's big line seemed flat 2) as much as I enjoyed a nerdy Tyler Perry there was times I questioned the casting choice  3) Shredder's right hand woman seemed redundant  4) something felt off about the Turtles design, most notable in Raphael's costume and 5) not enough pizza, cowabungas, or April wearing yellow.

Favourite Turtle
Liam: Raphael
Sister: Donatello
Me: Michelangelo

Favourite Non-Turtle Character
Liam: Krang
Sister: Every random civilian looking scared when crap hit the fan.
Me: Casey Jones

Favourite Line
Liam: "Raphael's like a cuddly teddy bear... if big cuddly teddy bears were incredibly violent." -Michelangelo
Sister: "Oh, I'm sorry, did I get a little tentacle mucus in your eye?"- Krang
Me: "What would vin Diesel do? No regrets, no fear!" -Raphael

Favourite Scene
Liam: After Bebop and Rocksteady are locked in shipping container after a grenade exploded and they both say "my man."
Sister: Whenever Baxter Stockman laughed.
Me: Ah...there were so many, sorry, I can't choose.

Final Rating
Liam: 2.5 Death Stars out of 5
Sister: 3.45 cheese pizzas out of 5.1
Liz: 4.1 cowabungas out of 5

Final Thoughts:
It is juvenile, ridiculous, and doesn't always make sense and that's not a bad thing. I loved it. Out of the Shadows knew what it was and did it well. Turtle universe. It was exactly what I wanted and maybe a little better. I think it was a great addition to the  I know my "less than good" section was long, what that doesn't communicate is that I spent most of the laughing. Even the badly done stuff seemed to add to its charm. I wouldn't recommend it for everyone. If you liked the first remake I expect you will also enjoy this one.
The theater didn't have a movie poster. This was the next best thing.
What wasn't captured, I'm wearing my old school TNMT shirt.

Daily Salad #24